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Parole Board invites crime victims to ‘Visitors Day’

Georgia’s Parole Board and Office of Victim Services  are inviting crime victims  from anywhere in the state to Augusta Technical College to meet confidentially with board members and staff during a Victims Visitors’ Day, April 24.

Victims of crimes whose perpetrators may eventually be considered for parole will be able to meet with the Parole Board members and staff from the board’s Clemency Division. This is the 31st such event the five-member board has hosted since the Victims Visitors’ Day program was launched in 2006, but only the second time the board has visited Augusta.

“This event affords the crime victim an opportunity to speak directly to the Parole Board and give us information for the case file that will be important when we make a parole decision,” Terry Barnard, State Board of Pardons and Paroles chairman, said in a news release.

Crime victims, in confidential meetings, can provide the board members information regarding the impact of the crime, and victims will be able to ask questions regarding the parole process.

“Not only is the information the victims provide important to the parole process, we want victims to understand the parole process and their role, which again is vital to the board making informed parole decisions,” Barnard said. “We consider every item of information in the case file before making a decision, and that includes the victim’s information.”

The Georgia Office of Victim Services is working with the Augusta Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office to conduct this Victims Visitors’ Day.

Victim services

Crime victims can also meet with Department of Corrections and the Department of Community Supervision representatives to get information regarding an offender’s incarceration or community supervision status.

Crime victims wishing to meet with the Parole Board are asked to schedule an appointment by contacting the Georgia Office of Victim Services at 404-651-6544 by Tuesday, April 23. But all crime victims are welcome at the April 24 event and will be able to register with the Georgia Office of Victim Services to receive offender status changes and other services.

The Victims Visitors’ Day will begin with a 9 a.m. opening ceremony in the Jack B. Patrick Information Center at Augusta Technical College, 3200 Augusta Tech Drive. 

Since 2006, the Board of Pardons and Paroles has visited 22 Georgia communities to provide crime members access to board members, according to the news release provided by Steve Hayes, director of the board’s communications office.

“It’s a statewide event, even though it’s being held just in Augusta,” Hayes said. “We go from city to city to invite crime victims, so it’s important that we get the word out across the state.”

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